Recreate the Openlink distribution using buildroot
This project aims to recreate most of the Openlink distribution using buildroot so that it is possible to easily cross compile the whole of Openlink on a Linux workstation. This will provide a clear cut way of maintaining Openlink and be useful to those who want to customise a Linux distribution for their own projects.
Buildroot has been patched to use toolchains produced by crosstool so that it is possible to use glibc instead of the usual uclibc support provided by buildroot. Note that this is intended as a way of maintaining Openlink, not as a package management system.
Why do we need this?
Problems of the current situation
- You might noticed that there are several different models of Linkstations out there. There are ppc-based Linkstations (LS1, HG, HS) and there is the mips-based LS2. We have different hardware that needs slightly different drivers and different cross-toolchains.
- The LS1, the HG and the HS are quite similar regarding the directory-structure. All shares are at /mnt/ and the usbdisks are mounted to /mnt2/usbdisk* . The LS2 is different, shares are at /mnt/hda/ and usbdisks are mounted to /mnt/usbdisk* (-> correct this if it is wrong! Mindbender). So we even have slightly different linux-distributions that make it hard for us to answer support questions if you do not know what model the other one has.
- If someone currently wants to modify OpenLink for all LS models, he would have to redo the same modification for all OpenLink-Images and has to upload and release this images. This means everything would have to be done 4 times....As not many of us have more than one model this frightens many of us and thats why there is so little development. It is possible that the same version of OpenLink can have different bugs as redoing the changes is a manual process...not every solutions is documented.
- OpenLink was only developed by one person, frontalot. Currently OpenLink is only developed by mindbender who has only a LS1. Commiting modifications is not really possible.
What would the buildroot-project change?
- Only model-specific-stuff regarding the hardware has to be done to make OpenLink work on a new model (currently the HS).
- Providing support gets much easier as all images would have the same directory structure and wwould look the same.
- Changes only need to be done one time to the svn-repository. All images for all models compiled via buildroot after the change would have this modifications automatically. Bug fixing gets easy.
- Several developers could maintain and develope the OpenLink-Distribution.
Buildroot is definitely the future of OpenLink. We need to get it working. Buildroot will accelerate development significantely. It will change everything much more to community-work instead of the current one-man-show.
The buildroot project is still in the initial stages of construction. Currently it will not create a bootable image. If you want to contribute or try it out read the howto then checkout the subversion trunk.
To get the project install subversion and type: